Why Would Anyone Use Windows XP Today?

As the world celebrates–or at least acknowledges–the tenth anniversary of Windows XP, I wondered why so many people continue to use an operating system that dates from an utterly different era in the history of personal technology. So I conducted a quick survey to ask XP users…well, to ask them why they’re XP users, and whether they intend to continue on with the OS forever. Bottom line: A plurality of them use it because it’s what their employers provide. But most of them seem to be reasonably okay with that.

(Standard disclaimer: This was an informal survey, and the results reflect only the experiences and opinions of the people–almost 900 of them–who happened to take it. I’m not claiming their responses map to the world at large.)

Here are the responses to the questions I asked.

More than half of respondents say they’re still using XP not because they want to, but because their employer makes them. Almost forty-five percent say it still gets the job done. But only nine percent say it’s better than more recent versions of Windows.

Almost two-thirds of respondents are at least reasonably happy with XP–they say it’s good or very good. Only ten percent say it’s poor or unacceptable.

Respondents who use XP only at work–presumably because their employers want them to do so, not by choice–don’t like it as much as those who decide to use XP. But they don’t hate it either. Over 50 percent say it’s good or very good, and only 14 percent think it’s poor or unacceptable.

Will these XP holdouts move to Windows 7? More than a third say it’s up to their employers. Just 17 percent want to actively avoid it indefinitely, but only a little over five percent plan to get it soon.

As for Windows 8, a healthy percentage of respondents reasonably want to know more about it before they make any upgrade decisions relating to it.

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